Australia-Pacific Connections for a Digital Future
Pacific Connect Network Dialogue
27-28 May 2019, Apia, Samoa
Communiqué / Call to Action
- We, the participants of the Pacific Connect Network Dialogue, met in Apia, Samoa on Monday 27 May and Tuesday 28 May 2019 at the invitation of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships (ICDP). The Dialogue was co-facilitated by Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu and Mr Michael Pilbrow and supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
- We congratulate the Dialogue organisers on assembling a diverse and enthusiastic group of participants with expertise across a range of creative industries, business and academic sectors, including education, community development, business consultancy, information and communications technology (ICT), education, media, music, textiles, marketing and communications.
- We particularly acknowledge the positive and respectful spirit in which the whole of the dialogue was conducted which was uniquely attributed to the positive and collaborative approach adopted by the participants and well received by the hosts and facilitators.
- We welcome Australia’s interest in forging stronger and more enduring strategic relationships with Pacific Island nations and see the planned Pacific Connect Dialogues as an opportunity for current and emerging Pacific Islander and Australian leaders to expand their networks, work on solutions to common challenges through the second track process and, ultimately, develop long-term relationships.
- We thank the Hon. Afamasaga Lepuia’i Rico Tupa’I, Minister for Communications & IT, Samoa for his stimulating speech, continued support for Pacific Connect and his interest in the outcomes from the Dialogue.
- The Dialogue’s focus on creative industries and the enhanced connectivity brought by new undersea cables in the region, supported by the Australian Government, makes this an ideal time to consider how emerging technologies could enable a greater choice of commercial and employment opportunities for creative people in Samoa and the broader Pacific region.
- We see the meeting of the Pacific Connect Dialogue group in Samoa as the first step to achieving tangible outcomes for the benefit of Samoa, as well as creating personal bonds, deepening trust and creating enduring relationships in the future.
- We discussed opportunities for digital innovation & self-sustainable creative businesses and identified a number of project ideas. We then broke into smaller groups to progress the ideas and develop the project pitch.
- We hope that pooling our expertise, experience and passion for change will help drive the creative industries in Samoa. We have identified four project opportunities:
- Establishing a TedX site in Samoa through ‘the Hub’ (an existing corporate meeting space);
- Strengthening Samoa’s cultural heritage through immersive storytelling and site mapping to urge global climate action;
- Create digital literacy education programme ‘ConnectMai’ in Samoa to equip changemakers and entrepreneurs of the future; and
- Using technology to enable youth access to cultural information to support identity/social issues.
- We are confident that cooperation with existing institutions, many of which are working in the digital and creative space, will leverage current resources and encourage their support.
- We believe the Dialogue substantially met our expectations in terms of topics of importance to the Pacific, providing a forum for open and honest discussion, expanding our networks and contacts and as an enabler for developing joint tangible projects to take forward. This was already apparent in the Dialogue and afterwards.
- We look forward to continuing our collaboration through further meetings and ICDP’s dedicated Slack forum for the Pacific Connect We will continue to consider a ranger of practical projects, including developing a project programme to assist with design and to supplement ideas.